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Pseudomonas syringae Two-Component Response Regulator RhpR Regulates Promoters Carrying an Inverted Repeat Element

July 2010 , Volume 23 , Number  7
Pages  927 - 939

Xin Deng,1 Lefu Lan,1 Yanmei Xiao,1 Megan Kennelly,1 Jian-Min Zhou,2 and Xiaoyan Tang1,3

1Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506-5502, U.S.A.; 2National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China; 3Shenzhen Molecular Crop Design Center for Tropical and Subtropical Regions, Shenzhen, China

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Accepted 20 March 2010.

The two-component system RhpRS was identified in Pseudomonas syringae as a regulator of the genes encoding the type III secretion system and type III effector proteins (together called the T3 genes). In the absence of the sensor kinase RhpS, the response regulator RhpR represses the induction of the T3 gene regulatory cascade consisting of hrpRS, hrpL, and the T3 genes in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. The repressor activity of RhpR is inhibited by RhpS, which presumably acts as a phosphatase under the T3 gene inducing conditions. Here, we show that RhpR binds and induces its own promoter in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Deletion and mutagenesis analyses revealed an inverted repeat (IR) element, GTATC-N6-GATAC, in the rhpR promoter that confers the RhpR-dependent induction. Computational search of the P. syringae genomes for the putative IR elements and Northern blot analysis of the genes with a putative IR element in the promoter region uncovered five genes that were upregulated and two genes that were downregulated in an RhpR-dependent manner. Two genes that were strongly induced by RhpR were assayed for the IR element activity in gene regulation and, in both cases, the IR element mediated the RhpR-dependent gene induction. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that RhpR binds the promoters containing a putative IR element but not the hrpR and hrpL promoters that do not have an IR element, suggesting that RhpR indirectly regulates the transcriptional cascade of hrpRS, hrpL, and the T3 genes.

© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society